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  #1  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:55 PM
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Default Audeze LCD-4 mini-review

Audeze LCD-4
Mini-review and first impressions.

I started auditioning headphones this summer on a casual basis. I was pretty surprised by the very large differences in tonality and dynamics I was hearing.

At RMAF 2017 I listened to a lot of headphones and eliminated most of them due to a combination of fit, finish, and overall tonality. Two ‘phones seemed to rise above the rest – the Focal Utopia and the Audeze LCD-4. They both sounded awesome – great tonality and dynamics. I felt the Audeze had slightly better bass performance, and the Focal edged out the Audeze in high frequency definition. These were very slight differences. At this performance level there are no wrong choices. I felt the Audeze would match my sonic preferences to a ‘T’. So I bought a pair from Ivan. They arrived in well protected in their "Pelican-like" road case.

I’ve had these phones running continuously for several weeks and their sound is not changing anymore. So it’s time for a mini-review.

Vocals – these headphones really shine on vocals. Vocals are generally warm and luscious sounding. Not a trace of sibilance or harshness. I’m listening to Ray Charles and Norah Jones on “Genius Loves Company” as I write this. Spectacular vocal rendition.

Bass – bass fundamentals just grab me with these ‘phones. They reproduce low level hall ambiance and space really well. The organ in Camille St. Saiens 3rd Symphony (Telarc) is beautifully rendered – it’s profound. It doesn’t overwhelm the orchestra at all – it is just there in the right measure.

Highs – this is where, if anything, I would say these cans are just slightly recessed above the vocal range. This actually suits my preferences perfectly. I would compare it to a well engineered metal tweeter vs. a well engineered silk dome like the Dynaudio Esotar. Some will prefer the metal tweeter – give me an Esotar any day.

Comfort – despite their weight, I can wear these for hours without discomfort or fatigue. The wide headband spreads the weight over a large area. The earpads are soft to the hand and have a very luxurious feel.

Headphone listening at this level is revelatory for me. I hear so much detail and ambience that I am continually discovering new things while listening recordings I thought I knew.

While I still prefer listening to my Amati Futura’s, I find that I’m spending more and more time with the Audeze LCD-4’s.

Associated Equipment – McIntosh C1100 preamplifier, Benchmark DAC3 HGC, MS Surface Pro 3 running JRiver MC 21.

Highly recommended. A true Class A audiophile component.


__________________
Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Wave Mechanic
Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation

SurfacePro 3, RPi 4, ROON, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

OnDeck:
McIntosh MAC 4300v
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2017, 09:28 PM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Thanks for the update and glad to hear you are enjoying your LCD-4's Tom. Outstanding headphones! Enjoy!
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:21 PM
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Masterlu Masterlu is offline
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Tom... great review, very happy to know you are enjoying your LCD-4’s.
__________________
Ivan
FLORIDA
MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U 4K PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A300 AMPS, C3900 PRE-AMP, DP1000 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC1000 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-68 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WW PLATINUM CABLES
CAPE COD

MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS 80-TB, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U 4K PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, FORTRESS SEATING, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMP, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, ACCUPHASE DG-68 VOICING EQUALIZER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1X/D1X STACK, G1X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WW PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1X CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, SHUNYATA OMEGA QR’s, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Esoteric/Bryston System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS(4), BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMP, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) EVEREST 8000 POWER CONDITIONER(2) ALTAIRA CG & SG HUBS, AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E800 INTEGRATED, DP570 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, DG-68 VOICING EQUALIZER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WW GOLD CABLES
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:22 PM
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djwhog djwhog is offline
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Nice review Tom, PS I am sure that the WW platinum cables will make them even a tab better too.

But after you get some more hours wow dream cans right!
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:40 PM
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Exactly! I'm sure I haven't yet heard what these babies are capable of.
__________________
Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Wave Mechanic
Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation

SurfacePro 3, RPi 4, ROON, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

OnDeck:
McIntosh MAC 4300v
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:43 PM
Masterlu's Avatar
Masterlu Masterlu is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: South FL & Cape Cod MA
Posts: 77,373
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I’ll send out a set for you to play around with, whenever you send up the smoke signal.
__________________
Ivan
FLORIDA
MX136, MC1.2KW(10) MC2KW(2), MCD1100, MS750(2) MVP881, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, HT-2 SUBS(2) HT3F(2) WS350(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) XCS350(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U 4K PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" MOTORIZED SCREEN, CINEMA-TECH SEATING, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: ACCUPHASE A300 AMPS, C3900 PRE-AMP, DP1000 CD/SACD TRANSPORT, DC1000 DIGITAL PROCESSOR, DG-68 DIGITAL EQUALIZER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, PS1230 POWER SUPPLY, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, WW PLATINUM CABLES
CAPE COD

MX150, MC501(2) MC1.2KW(10) MC2301(2) MR88, MVP881, MCD1100, MDA1000, C1000C/P/T, MPC1500, ESOTERIC K-01X 30th ANNIVERSARY (BLACK) SACD/CD PLAYER, G02-X CLOCK, HT3F(2) XRT2K, XCS2K, XR27(2) JL GOTHAM v2 SUBS(2) JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(4) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) KALEIDESCAPE STRATO & TERRA SERVERS 80-TB, LUMAGEN RADIANCE SCALER, SONY VPH-G90U 4K PROJECTOR, STEWART 120" SCREEN, SONUS FABER STRADIVARI, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, FORTRESS SEATING, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Analog Rig: CLEARAUDIO INNOVATION WOOD, UNIVERSAL ARM w/ Da VINCI' CART, 2nd UNIVERSAL ARM w/ GOLDFINGER STATEMENT CART, HRS-MXR REFERENCE RACK-GLOSS BLACK w/ M3X SHELVES, AESTHETIX RHEA SIG PHONO-PRE, BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMP, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Reference System: BURMESTER 911MK3 AMP(3), 088 PRE-AMP, 089 CD PLAYER, 100 PHONO PRE-AMP, 948 POWER CONDITIONER, ACCUPHASE DG-68 VOICING EQUALIZER, AVID ACUTUS REFERENCE SP TT, GRAHAM PHANTOM II SUPREME ARM, BENZ MICRO LP-S CART, GRANDIOSO P1X/D1X STACK, G1X RUBIDIUM MASTER CLOCK, N05 NETWORK PLAYER, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, HRS-SXR CUSTOM RACK w/ M3X SHELVES, SONUS FABER AIDA SPEAKERS, JL FATHOM F113v2 SUBS(2) SOUND ANCHOR STANDS(2) WW PLATINUM CABLES

Library System: GRANDIOSO M1 MONOBLOCK AMPS, C1 LINESTAGE PRE-AMP, K1X CD/SACD PLAYER, G1 MASTER RUBIDIUM CLOCK, E02 PHONO-PRE, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, AERIAL ACOUSTICS 20T V2, AERIAL SW12 SUBS(2), CANTON REF K1’s, VPI HRX TT w/ SDS POWER SUPPLY, ORTOFON CADENZA BLACK CART, KLAUDIO RCM, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2, SHUNYATA OMEGA QR’s, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Esoteric/Bryston System: ESOTERIC C02-X PRE-AMP, P-02X TRANSPORT, D02-X DAC, G02-X CLOCK, BRYSTON 28B3 CUBED MONOBLOCK AMPS(4), BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMP, SHUNYATA DENALI 6000/S v2(2) EVEREST 8000 POWER CONDITIONER(2) ALTAIRA CG & SG HUBS, AMR-DP777-SE DAC, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, TAD REFERENCE ONE MK2 LOUDSPEAKERS, QUADRASPIRE RACK, WW PLATINUM CABLES
Accuphase/Canton System: ACCUPHASE E800 INTEGRATED, DP570 CD/SACD PLAYER, T1200 FM STEREO TUNER, DG-68 VOICING EQUALIZER, PS530 POWER SUPPLY, CANTON REF K3’s, CANTON REF K5’s, SILENZIO MUSIC SERVER, HRS MXR REFERENCE MAHOGHANY RACK w/ M3X2 SHELVES, WW GOLD CABLES
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2017, 11:50 PM
W9TR's Avatar
W9TR W9TR is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: The Neutral Zone
Posts: 4,662
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I'll let you know! Not quite ready yet.
__________________
Main System:
Amati Futura Mains
Amati Homage VOX Center,
Proac Response 1sc Rears,
Three MC2301's for L,C,R
MC 602 for the rears
C 1100, MX 151, MCD 1100, MR 80
Nottingham Dais with Wave Mechanic
Sumiko Palo Santos Presentation

SurfacePro 3, RPi 4, ROON, WW Starlight Platinum USB, Schiit Yggdrasil, Benchmark DAC3 HGC

MX 151, OppO BDP-95, JVC RS-500 DILA projector, 106" diagonal Stewart Luxus Screenwall Deluxe with Studiotek 130 G3 material.

Lake House:
Ohm F, MC 275V, C2300, MR 77, Rega P3

OnDeck:
McIntosh MAC 4300v
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